Bethlehem, PA –The National Museum of Industrial History (NMIH) is pleased to announce a special exhibit spotlighting an innovative 3D printed concrete technique being developed at Lehigh University. “The Future of 3D Printed Concrete” showcases the products of this new technique and explains the design and manufacturing process behind them.
“At NMIH, we aim to explore innovation past and present to inspire ideas for the future. It is our privilege to showcase this transformative work to our visitors,” said Kara Mohsinger, NMIH President & CEO.
The 3D printing of concrete is a manufacturing technique that aims at revolutionizing the construction industry. A virtual model of the concrete object is made on a computer and a 3d printer manufactures it in a fully automated way. 3D printing concrete has several advantages over traditional concrete casting. Creative geometrical shapes can easily be 3D printed, allowing designers to use material only where it is most beneficial, reducing waste, cost, environmental impact, and labor.
The structural components in the exhibit are made of CSA cement, silica sand, and water. A team of Lehigh University professors and doctoral students, in collaboration with Buzzi Unicem USA, has developed a manufacturing process that can 3D print cementitious objects using a methodology called “particle bed 3D printing by selective binder activation”.
“While using old ingredients, this new manufacturing technology effectively gives us access to a new construction material, 3D printed concrete, which enables the creation of completely new geometrical shapes, exceptional structural efficiency, and superior environmental sustainability,” says Dr. Bocchini, professor at Lehigh University.
This project is partially funded by and completed in collaboration with Buzzi Unicem USA. Additional funding is provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development through the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Technology Alliance (PITA).
Massimo Toso, President and CEO of Buzzi Unicem USA replied, “The collaboration between Buzzi Unicem USA and Lehigh University is meaningful for both organizations, as we anticipate the future of construction. Buzzi Unicem is proud to support our local university and help facilitate this innovative technology. Our Special Product, the Calcium Sulfoaluminate Cement used in this project, confirms our commitment to reduce carbon emissions and reach carbon neutrality.”
“The Future of 3D Printed Concrete” is now on view to the public at NMIH and is included with regular museum admission. Visitor information for the museum can be found at nmih.org. More information on the project can be found at go.lehigh.edu/3dprint.
About the Lehigh University Project Team
The Lehigh University team includes Paolo Bocchini, Professor and Director of Graduate Programs, Department of Civil Environmental Engineering; John Fox, Associate Professor, Department of Civil Environmental Engineering; Clay Naito, Professor, Department of Civil Environmental Engineering; Nik Nikolov, Associate Professor, Department of Art, Architecture, and Design; Urinrin Otite, Doctoral Student, Department of Civil Environmental Engineering; and Xingjian Wang, Doctoral Student, Department of Civil Environmental Engineering.
About Buzzi Unicem USA
Buzzi Unicem USA Inc., part of the Buzzi Unicem group, is one of the leading cement manufacturing companies in the USA. Headquartered in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Buzzi Unicem USA serves the Midwest, Southwest, Northeast and Southeast sections of the country.
With over 2,200 valued employees, the companies operate 8 cement plants, with an annual production capacity of approximately 10 million metric tons, and 36 cement terminals across the country, which distribute its cement products to over 20 states. Click here to learn more about Buzzi Unicem’s approach to sustainability.
A Smithsonian Institution-affiliate, the National Museum of Industrial History is dedicated to preserving America’s rich industrial heritage. Housed in an 18,000-square-foot, 100-year-old former Bethlehem Steel facility on the largest private brownfield in America, the Museum is home to exciting exhibits, engaging programs and amazing history. Learn more at nmih.org.
Images courtesy of National Museum of Industrial History
VP of Business Development
National Museum of Industrial History
610-428-3053 (cell); [email protected]